Monday, September 6, 2010


Two brothers lived in constant poverty. The elder brother was satisfied with his humble assets and led a life of peace and contentment. But the younger brother was always unhappy, ambitious and greedy. He wanted to enjoy all the pleasures of life and was envious of his wealthy neighbours. He rejected his elder brother’s views with contempt. One day they met a saintly preacher on the way. The younger brother complained about his constant poverty and God’s apparent cruelty. The preacher consoled him and advised them to pray for receiving richer resources if it is the will of God. They returned to their homes and resumed their prayers with greater zeal. The younger brother soon started receiving several blessings. His land gave a rich harvest and he obtained a loan to start a new business. His financial status soared steadily. But his elder brother remained poor as before. The younger brother considered his brother to be unworthy to receive the blessings of God as his prayers were not answered so far.
The saintly preacher later returned to their village and met both the brothers. He was surprised to find that the younger brother had become a successful and wealthy businessman in a short period. The preacher asked him why he did not share a part of his blessings with his elder brother who was still very poor. The rich man replied that the blessings he received were the results of his own fervent prayers and his brother did not deserve any gift because even God had disregarded his prayers and deserted him.
Then the preacher told him, “You are thoroughly mistaken, my son. God has answered all the prayers of your brother.”
“But I don’t find that he received any blessing from God. He is unworthy to get the grace of God and I don’t care for him”, the rich man replied.
The preacher corrected him, “I know what he had prayed for. He was praying to God for you. He was praying that all your prayers shall be answered and your wishes be fulfilled. He did not pray for his own prosperity. Whatever you enjoy now is the result of his intercession. You should be thankful to him for ever.” These words transformed the rich man.
He learned that the blessings we receive need not be the fruits of our own prayers or efforts alone, but can be the results of the prayers of others for us.
St. Paul advises, “Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble towards one another, always considering others better than yourselves. And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own” {Philippians 2: 3, 4}.
©By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.
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